Wanted: Adventurers to Settle Demon-Haunted, Orc-Infested Frontier. Inquire at the Shifty Tankard.

Want to see the spot where civilization ends? Look at a map of the Dragon Empire. There, in the northwest corner, you’ll see a region where only the desperate and courageous survive. That region is the Blackmarch: a buffer province named for the Black River the marks its western border. Blackmarch stands between the good citizens of the Empire and the orcs to the north and the demons to the west.

The only foothold of civilization here is aptly named Foothold. The only successful outpost of the Dragon Empire in this region, it is seen as a backwater by citizens in the central Empire and an unwanted but necessary lifeline by the people who settled here to get away from the reach of the Empire. It’s a miracle Foothold survives at all. Sometimes raiding parties of orcs come across the Black River to murder and steal. The demons…well, they tend to come through in other ways, and you hear strange stories about the more remote settlements of Blackmarch.

There’s peril in the Blackmarch, but also opportunity for someone like yourself. Magistrate Flavius has need of men and women who know their way around a blade or a spellbook, who can venture into dark places and take care of business. Beyond the Black River in no-man’s land are the ruins of past ages, with much to interest seekers fortune and knowledge. Caravans need guarding — or maybe hijacking — as they wind through Blackmarch bearing gems and precious metals on their way to Glitterhaegen, and come back with supplies for the settlers.

Before you decide to try and make a name for yourself, you should know that to live in the Blackmarch is to live on the knife’s edge of survival. One year a cloud came out of the Hell Marsh that caused crops across the province to fail, and that winter a blizzard closed off the supply routes. A whole lot of settlers died of starvation, cold or disease — and that’s not counting the normal deaths from things coming across the river, up out of the ground, down from the sky, or worming their way out of a corrupted soul.

Note: A lot of this was inspired by / stolen from @waderockett’s campaign Blackmarch Thanks Wade!

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Frontier of the Dragon Empire

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